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Happy Trails with Dawni O'Bryan: Rodeo Patriots

By Administrator

July 12, 2023

As Cowboy Christmas wrapped up, I was reminded of the great sense of patriotism that is portrayed through the western lifestyle and rodeo. Every rodeo begins with the singing of the national anthem and a prayer. Rodeo and religion share a common ground, in that most competitors are Christian believers and our country’s beliefs are strongly tied to belief in God and the western way of life. You would be hard pressed to go to a rodeo and find a cowboy taking a knee in protest to the flag, the anthem, or the United States of America. You might find a cowboy taking a knee in prayer before getting on that rank bucking horse he has drawn. You might find a cowgirl praying at her trailer and thanking God for that barrel run that put her in the winner’s circle.

Of course, I am partial to the equine athlete and its majestic presence in the arena when a cowboy or cowgirl displays the flag. As the duo rides around the arena or is halted in the middle for the national anthem, I get that patriotic lump in the throat as the flag waves and the crowd stands, sings, and shows respect. Patriotism starts at a very young age and little buckaroos are taught to take their hats off when the national anthem and prayer are being conducted. As I traveled over the Fourth of July, it did my heart good to see little pieces of Americana still alive and well. There was an old song by Moe Bandy called “Americana” that speaks of a people proud and free. Across the five states that I traveled, I saw flags waving in the small towns, parades filled with red, white, and blue, and veterans wearing their old uniforms.

Rodeos were happening nearly everywhere. The National Little Britches Association Finals in Guthrie, OK is nearing completion. Southeast Colorado and western Kansas competitors are among the hundreds of contestants flooding the grounds at the Lazy E. There are two go rounds and a short go round that takes the top 20. Of the 209 junior girls in the pole bending, Briley Seufer, of Holly, was 28th in the first go with a time of 21.246 seconds and Kai Calkins, of Lakin, was 21.285 seconds for 33rd. Another fast run on the second go round could put them in the finals. In the junior girls’ barrel race, Jozlynn Heinrich, of Deerfield, was 28th out of 237 racers with a time of 14.66 and Seufer was 55th with a time of 14.936 seconds. In the junior girl trail course, Bristyl Barrett was 5th 22.2 seconds, Kaysen Devaughn was 22nd 27.396 seconds, and Reagan Weatherred was 36th 30.248 seconds. Hudson Crane (junior boy) was a little longer than hoped in the goat tying with a time of 15.23 seconds. Madison Crane was 22.114 seconds in the pole bending for 51st out of 222 runners. Quinter Weatherred (senior boy) was 21.98 seconds in the tie down roping for 35th. Brooke Thompson (senior girl) was 57th in the trail course with a time of 33.525 seconds. As of this writing, the second go round is not yet complete.

In the Colorado Professional Rodeo Association, Colton Crawford of Walsh, won the Meeker rodeo in the bareback riding with a score of 83 and $616. In the standings as of July 2nd, Crawford is sitting 2nd in the bareback riding with $1852 won. Erin Johnson of Fowler is in the driver’s seat of the breakaway roping with $2570 won. La Junta cowboy, Hadley Jackson, is sitting 3rd in the steer wrestling. In the team roping (heeling), TJ Watts of Eads, is sitting 3rd with $1631 won. Tie down roper, Chance Wall of Cheraw, is sitting in first place with $1701 won. In the Kansas Professional Rodeo Association, as of July 6, Crawford is sitting 3rd with $743 won in the bareback riding. Former Granada cowboy, Chad VanCampen, is sitting 5th in the steer wrestling. Watts is sitting 6th in the team roping with $1936 won. In the 40/40 team roping, Scott Morlan of Las Animas, is sitting 3rd with $1060 won.

“When I grew up, I only had two dreams. One was to be a cowboy, and another was to be in the military. I grew up extremely patriotic and riding horses.” Chris Kyle

Happy Trails.